28/Oct/07 - Spiritualism ~ A Prophecy Unrecognised

28/Oct/07 - Spiritualism ~ A Prophecy Unrecognised

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The highlight of a visit to Spiritualist church is undoubtedly the part of the service where the medium or clairvoyant gives messages to members of the congregation. Now most of the time, the messages seem to ‘touch the spot‘; occasionally however, a message is received with a bewildered expression and the identity of the spirit is not recognized as being part of the family ancestry.

I often find myself in the position of not recognizing the spirit contact, due I think to the fact that I have only a hazy idea of my family ancestry. Both my parents were totally self-sufficient in their love for each other and for me, their only son. Consequently we only visited the ‘Aunts and Uncles’ once or twice a year, usually at Christmas and perhaps for a day at the sea-side in the summer. I remember that the Aunties all smelt of perfume and wore two-piece suits (jacket and skirt) which always seemed to be made of a rough tweedy material that chaffed my bare legs as I fulfilled the penance of having to sit on their laps, whilst they talked about me as if I wasn’t there. “He’s doing very well isn’t he”, “He’s growing into a fine boy” etc. I used to put up with it in part, I’m ashamed to say, in order that they would press a sixpenny piece or even a shilling into my hand. The Uncles would often frighten me by insisting that I joined them in a game of backyard-football. Two Uncles would start trying to dribble the ball past each other, looking and sounding like hippo’s at war. Suddenly they would turn and kick the ball toward me “Come on Lad!” they’d shout. They’d go quiet when I silently declined to kick the ball back. “Our Kitty’s got him all dressed up like a girl” remarked one of the Aunties - not comprehending that I could hear and understand her.

It’s perhaps just as well that the majority of the messages I receive are from my Mother and occasionally my Father, although I do yet quite a few from figures from the past - usually offering to help with my writing. Shirley the medium turned to me one Sunday last year and told me she had a “known person” with her who was going to be with me in Eire. Shirley described him to me, saying that he had resembled me during his life and that he would help me. I have to admit that the first image that came into my mind was bw soulmerlinthat of George Bernard Shaw and I also admit to being skeptical at the time. I was therefore pleasantly surprised that the first thing I saw was a large blow-up of GBSshaw in the airport arrivals concourse when I arrived in Dublin a few days later. After all, one message or contact with Napoleon has got to be genuine!

There was one particular message I received last October, which I didn’t understand until two days ago, when suddenly everything ‘clicked into context’ and made perfect sense. The Rev. Eileen was conducting messages and described how the spirit-world was pleased with the progress I had made with my writing, but then went on to describe an image she could see of what I presumed to be an ancient manuscript. Eileen said that I would have a page, one half of which would contain writing and the other half would be comprised of designs and charts of some sort. She then went on to say that it was like an endless scroll, with the writing going down one side and the patterns and charts down the other.

Those of you who have visited my Almanack before will know that I have only recently created a broad blue sidebar area down the right-hand side, for entries, archives, calendars etc, and that the Almanack page had previously only a thin blue strip of geometric designs down each side. After eight months of writing, I had realized that my bespoke, hand-drawn, painted and designed ‘blog’ would have to conform to the standard blog-design of Wordpress or Blogspot for example, in order that readers would be able to easily refer back to previous entries, look at a selection of ‘the best’ and also visit site-links and various ’widgets’.

Joining Blogrush gave the Almanack page it’s final half and half format. I wanted to place their module on the PA0700181Almanack page and I couldn’t see where and how I could do it. I’m glad to say that Alison, my web-designer came up with the solution of getting rid of the left-hand blue geometric strip and putting it over onto the right-hand side and generally widening the blue border to it’s present format. I say “glad” because it removes any chance that I was subconsciously trying to get the page to look like Eileen’s description some 12 months earlier - in any case I had never related her ‘vision’ to that of a web-page, but more to an illuminated medieval parchment scroll. I also had no idea about blogging at that time and I hadn’t even considered owning and running a web-site.

When things are viewed out of context, they can often not be identified. I passed by the woman who works at the shop at the top of my street the other day because I had only seen her behind the shop counter and didn’t recognize her as she walked towards me. She seemed a little miffed the following day when I went in to get my paper and responded a little stiffly to my cheery “hello”. I also remember as a boy, not recognizing our local vicar because he was not wearing his dog-collar - he looked so ordinary and not at all ‘vicar-ish’. (There’s Eileen above, looking very vicar-ish, together with John Chapman, who is perhaps one of the most spiritual and funny men I have ever met.)

Perhaps that’s why Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize Jesus at first when she went to the tomb…


PS: Do try some of the links on the Blogrush module - most of them are really good and some are excellent - a tip: If you’re not too interested in the titles on display in the module, keep refreshing the page - You’ll find a different set of titles will come up each time. Happy reading.

Oh yes - I’ve just turned “Flowers” into “Flowers and Scorpions”. I wanted to create a popular weekly blog - and here it is - a weekly tabloid on spirituality and life. The “Sun” and the “Daily Star” have a lot to answer for! You can reach it from the banner below, or the links at the top of this page, or through the “Flowers” square on the Home Page. Now it can be established that the Almanack is a “posh” paper. (sometimes the Independant and sometimes the Express or Mail!)


Photographs from top:

top L - Me

top R - George Bernard Shaw

btm R - Eileen Millward and John Chapman

Alison Parton my web-designer http://www.notatoad.co.uk

16/Oct/07 Spiritual Keep-Fit ~ Part three

Don’t Run before you can Walk

If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and are relatively unfit for your age, it is best to take things gradually at first. I consider physical health inseparable from spiritual health, but it is easy to overdo both in an initial surge of enthusiasm.If you have followed my first two instalments, you will hopefully be taking care of both your sleeping habits and also your eating patterns and intake. If you’re new to the site, I recommend looking at my previous Almanack entries before continuing, so go to the Spiritual Keep-Fit category on the Almanack side-bar to catch-up if it’s your first visit.


Before taking up jogging (and buying all the gear etc!) it is best to spend at least a week, preferably a month just walking. Walking in itself is an evolved activity that we have progressed to in our development, both from childhood and also as a species as we have evolved from the animal ‘all fours’ posture. However if your lifestyle up to now has involved minimum walking, other than to get from ‘a” to ‘b’ - usually in a rush, or of necessity whilst shopping and being loaded down with bags - some careful correction to the way you walk should be undertaken before the activity of running is even considered.

Prepare for a walk by first choosing a location which will allow you to stride out naturally for around half and hour, without encountering any potholes or uneven surfaces. Avoid crowded places and any potential obstacles which will interrupt the rhythmic pace of walking you hope to achieve. It is best to steer away from shopping malls, busy pavements and routes where you will have to spend some time waiting at traffic lights, dodging cars and lorries etc. Choose a location where you will be able to walk at a steady pace whilst paying little or no attention to your surroundings.

The Meditation of “Pace”

Once you have chosen your walking-location, prepare by having a light snack at least one hour before and by a moderate liquid intake (don’t swamp your system with water - you may dilute the essential electrolyte balance of your body’s metabolism)

Choose your clothing carefully so that it is ideal for your location, in the UK at present, we have some ideal Autumn walking weather.


Shoes are the most important consideration. I find ‘trainers’ too bulky and insulating for proper foot awareness. Trainers also do nothing to increase foot awareness and sensitivity; the legs and feet have natural shock-absorbing properties which are not helped by the over-cushioned soles and wrap-around padding on the modern trainer. In my opinion a simple inexpensive shoe is the best, with a sole thin enough for the walker to feel the ground a little and a general construction light and simple enough to allow the foot to flex and articulate whilst walking.


I try to avoid nylon. Nylon holds sweat and interrupts the natural release of body waste-matter into the atmosphere. It is much better although perhaps less fashionable, to ‘kit-out’ in natural fabrics; a cotton top and loose cotton trousers are much more favourable for the body. Nylon also allows an electrical static build-up which also is a negative factor in bodily well-being. Judge how much clothing will be needed for a purposeful walk - too little clothing and you may become chilled and tense - too much clothing and you may overheat.

The Rate of Pulse

Walk casually to your ‘walking patch’ (I use the park at the bottom of my street) and then pause and check your pulse. Start walking at your rate of pulse and continue with loose easy strides for fifteen minutes. Allow your breathing to naturally flow; don’t over-breath or breath too high in your chest; think of your lungs as bellows. Breath in through your nose and out through both nose and mouth.


Meditate on the rhythm of your walking and of your breath. Become aware of the ground; each step should travel easily from your heel to your toes - feet parallel or very slightly turned out - your body weight should fall along and slightly to the outside of your feet. Become aware of evenness or otherwise in your body carriage. Do you walk with a stress on your right foot or your left? Most people have a main propulsion or driving foot - try to even out the take-off between both feet.

After fifteen minutes, start to consider your whole body carriage. Are your shoulders tense? - lower them. Is your lower back curved (lordosis) or your upper back curved (scoliosis?) Try to gain an easy posture. Pull up from the back of your neck and keep your chin slightly down.

Continue walking in a natural way for the remainder of your first half-hour session - concentrate on the feel of your body and enjoy it’s natural sensation.

When you return home, shower and lie naked on your bed with the room cool but not cold.

Let your mind be still….

’till the next time


07/10/07 Laughter is the Music of Heaven


Laughing Jesus

I say this with respect, but I hope and believe that Jesus would have reacted, as in the drawing above, if he had been present (and he probably was) at our church today (or yesterday as it’s coming up to midnight). I have written about this in my new ‘hideway’, along with a few other musings and a change of style.

http://www.soulmerlin.wordpress.com “an old man carrying flowers on his head.”

soulMerlin’s Almanack will continue with it’s normal weekly entries and in addition “an old man carrying flowers on his head” will approach things in a more conversational way.

Within a few days, the link will be installed on the home “Grove” page; then you’ll be able to go straight to it.


The next Almanack entry “The Seasons” will be posted here on this page on Wednesday or Thursday.

(I’m sure it will all make sense as the weeks pass…)



5/Oct/07 - Small Dreams of a Scorpion

hotel window plymouth (jewells hotel)

From my hotel window - Jewell’s Hotel Plymouth

Wednesday Night - Vanilla Ice-Cream

The night before my Dad died, he had a craving for ice-cream. Christina my mother searched the night streets of Durham in the vain hope of finding somewhere or someone who would sell it to her - all in vain. Tonight I had plain ice cream after my Chinese meal and I thought about Dad, as I always do, every time I have ice-cream (especially the soft variety). And so am I morbid? Not by my reckoning, but maybe by yours…

Thursday Morning - On the other hand…

…The sky is blue over Plymouth this morning and the musky smell of early Autumn is in the air. (Should just enjoy the last days of warmth, and forget that Winter will soon be here?) Autumn is a beautiful time. I am in the Autumn of my life and I cannot deny it. My bathroom mirror still persists in telling me the kind lie that I haven’t changed too much, but I know I have changed, developed, grown, altered, matured and inevitably deteriorated over the  years of my life; years which seem to have passed all too quickly.

‘Youth is wasted on the Young’

Youth is not wasted on the Young, but the appreciation of it comes with maturity.


“Small Dreams of a Scorpion” is the title of a book of poems and collected bits of prose and thoughts by Spike Milligan - http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/2002740

Here’s a poem from Spike’s Book…

The Future
The young boy stood looking up the road
to the future. In the distance both sides
appeared to converge together. ‘That
is due to perspective, when you reach
there the road is as wide as it is here’,
said an old wise man. The young
boy set off on the road, but,
as he went on, both sides of the
road converged until he could
go no further. He returned to ask
the old man what to do, but
the old man was dead.
Dublin, Jan. 1972

I have to admit - Sometimes I enjoy being miserable - Being happy often makes me sad.


ps: Oh yes! Exercise 2 in my fitness programme - Buy a pretty little notebook and for the next week, enter everything you eat or drink. I mean EVERYTHING, even a little sweet, or a handful of peanuts from the bar counter. EVERYTHING. I bet you can’t do it because the book will be constantly in your hands. But if you persevere and manage, you will have an amazing record of what you ingest. This will be an invaluable starting point for an appraisal of your eating habits.

pps: How’s the sleeping going?

3/Oct/07 Mind Body and Spirit (part one)


Have you ever seen a fit Medium?

I remember Mark Brandist, a spiritual medium, reducing the congregation to hysterics with his impression of a clairvoyant, staggering up to the altar in order to give messages from beyond - a beyond which seemed very imminent considering the fitness level of the fictitious? Medium.

The fact is that I have not seen too many people at church glowing with good health; no avid body-builders or gymnasts; no one really sexy or fit in all senses of the word.

It does seem to be a trend or factor, that a spiritual focus in life, often goes side-by-side with a physical neglect. Maybe it has something to do with the religious discomfort with the carnal side of existence.

There’s another factor - The exercises that comprise a journey into meditation more often than not, involve the drawing away of awareness from the extremities of the body, towards the upper chest and the head.

But you can involve the whole body in the meditative process and it’s about time that the natural distaste for the flesh and carnality was removed from modern religious practice. This dictat seems not to have been present in the old religions where the physical was seen in natural relationship to the whole cycle of life; from the planting of the seed, to the harvest and finally to the stillness of Winter.

japanese translation click characters below and wait for one minute

First Steps to Fitness

Exercise 1.


Christina used to call sleep “The Master Restorerâ€‌ and so it is. It seems that a lot of people, especially professionals of one sort or another, do not get enough shut-eye. Sleep gives the body a chance to rest, repair and recover. Most people know what they should be getting in terms of sleep-state, no matter if its 7 to 9 hours and although many people can get by on less, (3 to 5 hours!) it’s not good deal - either for the body or the mind.

So the first step is to sort out your sleeping pattern. Try to get enough sleep so that you are able to wake up naturally, without the aid of an alarm clock.

a) Just before going to sleep, ask your body to wake when it has rested enough; not before or after.
b) If you are sleeping too little or too much - identify the problem(s) - and solve them.

I know that the above is easier said than done; sometimes the problem is self-perpetuating; for example a lack of sleep has caused fears and worries to creep in and those worries themselves cause further lack of sleep and so on. You then find yourself in a downward spiral which must be halted for the sake of physical and mental health.

c) If you find you are sleeping too much, consider what you may be trying to avoid or hide from. Debts, career problems and emotional trauma are often the cause for sleep becoming an emotional refuge - get up and confront your problems. (they’ll only grow bigger if you don’t).

d) I find I can get to sleep easily if I think and visualize about my favourite hobby. Try to focus your mind on the areas of life that please you. Whatever you do, don’t focus on your problems - they’ll keep you awake and set you off on the spiral as you hide from them in sleep the following day…and so on.

e) Don’t eat or drink too much before going to bed. Sleep in pure cotton sheets in a bed which you can stretch out in - and sleep naked. (ok - if you need your favourite nighty,or pair of jim-jams so be it) but sleeping relaxed and naked in a cool, well-ventilated room takes some beating.

f) Keep a notebook and pencil beside your bed. Sleep will become an adventure. Jot down your dreams and visions as soon as you awake. Catch them as they dissolve.

The Gateway
Enjoy the moment between waking and sleeping. Here at the gateway you will encounter beings and spirits which are just as real in their own terms as your colleagues are at work. Look forward to returning to that gateway every night and don’t forget to write down your experiences and descriptions of the people you will meet. I can remember one guardian who appeared, just as I was drifting off. Suddenly this wonderful woman appeared looking down at me, as if she was leaning over a balcony. I have never seen such a beautiful face, smiling and glowing. Try as I might, I cannot recall her face exactly - but it was wonderful and the memory of it has made me look forward to the gateway ever since.

Two Hunky Men

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Eric Kunze (2)1 michael g jones

Be content with who you are and the age you are.

Society places such an emphasis on youth. Take a look at Eric Kunze - The Man in the USA production of Whistle Down the Wind‌ and my dear friend Michael G Jones (Jacob in the UK tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and ask yourself who is the most attractive. They are both great guys and a pleasure to work with.

till the next time


Sept/30 Flying and Dying - part five

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Bloggers too them all

“No! Other way!”

I’m at full pelt along the corridor. “No” I shout back “He’s Just told me your wrong!

The two security vultures looked shaken. “You ain’ t carrying any liquids, are yuh?â€‌ snarled one preditor. “No! I scream back over my shoulder, shortcircuiting the double-negative. “Well hurry then!â€‌, screeched the other scavenger with a fetid snigger .

Two things have become increasingly clear.

  1. No one ever (well hardly ever) puts a comment on one of my posts
  2. Yanks just cannot bear to be second place or wrong. “No Way Buddy!â€‌
    click below and wait one minute for Japanese Translation
  3. As well as the manic ‘know it all’ airport appearance, there was one fateful cab journey in which the driver was so determined that he knew where our destination was (even though the dingbat didn’t) that he drove around fifty miles in the wrong direction, before he finally admitted defeat and consulted his controller on the radio. It’s just a thing about being the best; our cousins on the other side of the pond are convinced they’re right (even though we know they’re wrong) and we pretend we’re wrong (even though we know we’re right.) Same difference really.

But am I a tad miffed that no one who eyeballs my weekly missive can raise the motivation to tap in a few comments, observations or simple abuse?


It’s like the Universe you see. The Web that is. And my little Almanack thing is just a little particle of a speck in the black infinity of cyberspace, but if someone had the grace or pity to jot a little tad of wisdom under one of my laboured posts?


Special Screening - (in space no-one can hear you scream…)

“Why am I being stopped for a special search again?â€‌ I ask the next preying mantis to lightly place her feeler on my upper arm and guide me to a glass interrogation compartment, where I am puffed and analyzed under the hollow gape of my security attendant/guard.

No Answer…

…Four return journeys from Hartford to Heathrow and three â€کspecial-screening’ interrogations’ When I asked why I was being singled out, the response was a depressing “Once you’re in the system…â€‌ type of reply what system? What am I in? Missed flights, delays, headaches exhaustion and misinformation; it all seemed to confirm the foreboding question whispered by the spirit-ball in my dream. So even at quantity prediction level, my dream had earned it’s cred’s – the tingle of realizing that I was reading about locations in a book at exactly the same time as I was passing overhead, 35,000 feet above was a big bonus as the chances of that particular sequence of events and coincidences occurring was extremely minute. But the rest? Well it all depends how you look at it I expect.

Then there were a lot a little things; I knew my suitcase was the next one to appear on the baggage collection belt. “You’re next.” I thought and sure enough, round came the little grey suitcase that once was Christina’s. But it was still a fight; a fight all the way through each of the four trips. “Take the Skytrain to platform 8 you’ll get BA there”). The latest in the line of know-alls stood a tad over-straight in a none-specific uniform, with the face of a mustachioed Ernest Borgnine, “Yeah go on. Down the escalator, through the front entrance, across the road, up the elevator on the other side, third floor….You can’t miss it!” (that last statement of insane prediction almost inevitably sends me on an endless journey of mystery, misery and sheer panic!) Stupid Imperialist that I am - I assumed that the shouted “You’ll get BA there!” referred to British Airways. Oh No, you narrow soulMerlin…The BA in question referred to Buenos Ayres Airlines…How could I have been so wrong? I doubled back on my tracks and under the reliable instruction of a Brit. (a BA - yes a British Airways hostess, all dark stockings, hyper-blond hair and dehydration lines) I started to hurry back, heart thumping, legs aching and my lungs regretting my still-undefeated smoking battle.

Around then I knew I’d missed my flight - and I had rehearsals in High Wycombe the next day. Suddenly it didn’t matter. So what if I missed my flight? If I did, then my assistant would do just (well almost) as good a job as me. “Whatever you want.” I said to the roof of the corridor (I still personify ‘the force’ and I still look upward when I talk to Heaven). That’s really primitive - Or is it? You see, the lower end of the colour spectrum is red and the upper end is blue - there you have it Heaven (blue/high freq) and Hell (Red/low freq) Sort of a bit boring and limiting somehow and rather obvious; but it sums things up better than a book of religious philosophy. And so I slowed down.

On the Skytrain back to platform 7, I had a chat with a fellow traveller, who seemed to have been a JFK wanderer for several days. We looked at each other, each recognizing a kindred spirit - and smiled. A dog in a rucksack pretended not to notice, but my smile continued to grow. I sauntered up to the BA desk and was immediately put on the 8.30 flight (only two hours later) and upgraded to boot!

So I smiled most of the way home. And people smiled back and were pleasant and things went well enough (even with a further four hour delay).

So what about the prediction that I would see a North American Indian? Well I had discovered that Greg who plays the Snake Preacher in “Whistle Down the Wind” had a Great Grandmother who was an Indian squaw named Susanna Americana and I was struck by the Totem Pole appearance of the statue outside the theatre in Houston. Not very special really. Not like conclusive proof of a happy hunting ground - or a cloud, a harp and a nightshirt. (I wonder if they have more fun in Hell?)

well, I was just settling into my seat, when I looked across to my left and there, sitting and looking rather irritable, was an elderly Indian lady. Being English and naturally unfriendly, I decided to ignore her, rationalizing that she probably wouldn’t want to talk to me anyway. And so we sat for the next six hours. Suddenly near the end of the flight, she looked across and jabbed a finger towards the floor area underneath the seat in front of me. I looked and there was a 25c piece; I picked it up and on an impulse I pressed it into her palm, forming a handshake grip as I did so. Her face glowed as if she was seeing someone else she knew. I realised later, with an all over tingle, that it was the face I had seen in the spirit-ball vision.

Well, even Columbus mistook America for a part of India…

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